Fulham's managerial change 'doesn't affect' Clint Dempsey's loan

Michael Steele

Sigi Schmid gives little reason to believe Dempsey will be returning to the Sounders anytime soon.

The number of reasons that Clint Dempsey should at least consider ending his loan to Fulham early are growing at an alarming rate. The latest came on Friday, when Fulham fired manager Rene Meulensteen and replaced him with Felix Magath.

Magath, as you may know, is what could generously be called an "old-school" coach who believes in things like grit, determination and hard work. He's know for having a bit of a rigid streak when it comes to his managerial tactics and in punishing his players by making them physically suffer.

Whatever he is, though, the Seattle Sounders don't seem to think it will make much difference in terms Dempsey's loan.

"No, it doesn't affect it at all," Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said when asked about the change on Saturday. "You don't know how Felix Magath is going to approach it in his period of time right now with the team. [The loan] what was agreed to, so you sort of let it sit unless there is something that comes to the forefront that should change it."

Unless something dramatic changes, then, there's been virtually no indication from the Sounders that Dempsey will rejoin them until after the United States' friendly against Ukraine on March 5. That would give Dempsey one day of Sounders training, at most, before the season opener on March 8.

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